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Starting July 1, 2024, The Joint Commission (TJC)  has updated workplace violence prevention standards for all Joint Commission-accredited Behavioral Health Care and Human Services (BHC & HS) organizations.

New and Revised Workplace Violence Standards

These updated standards offer a structured framework to assist BHC & HS organizations accredited by TJC, CARF, or COA, in formulating effective strategies for preventing workplace violence. They encompass the following key areas:

  • Clearly defining workplace violence, with a formal definition now included in the Glossary.
  • Establishing leadership oversight to ensure accountability.
  • Developing processes for analyzing worksites to identify potential risks.
  • Formulating comprehensive policies and procedures aimed at preventing workplace violence.
  • Implementing systems for reporting incidents, collecting data, and conducting thorough analyses.
  • Instituting post-incident strategies to address and mitigate the aftermath of violent events.
  • Providing ongoing training and education programs to reduce the occurrence of workplace violence.

Designate a Leader

The organization has a workplace violence prevention program led by a designated individual and developed by a multidisciplinary team that includes the following:

  • Policies and procedures to prevent and respond to workplace violence
  • A process to report incidents, and to analyze incidents and trends
  • A process for follow-up and support for victims and witnesses affected by workplace violence, including trauma and psychological counseling, if necessary
  • Reporting of workplace violence incidents to governance

Perform a Worksite Analysis

The organization conducts an annual assessment of its workplace violence prevention program, identifying and addressing safety and security risks. This includes proactive site analysis, incident investigation, and evaluating program elements such as policies, training, and environmental design to ensure alignment with best practices and regulatory standards.

Improve Staff and Client Safety

The organization establishes and executes a comprehensive monitoring and reporting system to track and investigate workplace violence incidents. These incidents may be reported to staff involved in quality assessment or improvement, as well as to designated leaders overseeing workplace violence reduction efforts. Legal processes are followed to maintain confidentiality when reviewing incident reports, ensuring opportunities for improvement are communicated. 

As an integral component of its workplace violence prevention program, the organization ensures that leadership, staff, and licensed practitioners receive comprehensive training, education, and resources. This training is provided upon hiring, annually thereafter, and whenever changes occur in the workplace violence prevention program. Tailored to individual roles and responsibilities, the training covers various aspects including:

  • Defining workplace violence.
  • Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of leadership, clinical staff, security personnel, and external law enforcement.
  • Providing instruction in de-escalation techniques, nonphysical intervention skills, physical intervention methods, and response to emergency incidents.
  • Outlining the procedures for reporting workplace violence incidents.

By implementing these standards, Behavioral Health Care and Human Services organizations can foster safer work environments, protect staff and clients, and effectively respond to and manage incidents of workplace violence.

Barrins & Associates Consultation

When we conduct our Mock Surveys and Continuous Readiness Consultations, we always incorporate an evaluation of the workplace violence prevention program.  We also share our resources on best practices and survey readiness strategies. As always, we will continue to keep you posted on the best solutions for ongoing compliance.

Barrins & Associates – “Simplify, Deliver, and Thrive: Your Path to Compliance and Safe Care “